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ZONTA CLUB NEWS: The ripple effect: Zonta making waves, even at Mardis Bra

March 9, 2018
By MIRIAM HADDEN - Zonta Club of the Adirondacks , Lake Placid News

A single action or event can affect social change. This "ripple effect" has recently been evident with the "Me Too" and "Time's Up" movements sparked by the Harvey Weinstein news cycle, encouraging survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and other forms of violence or gender inequality to take action.

This movement was largely generated by the choices of a few women who were brave enough to speak publicly about their experiences and to seek change. In the months since, women all across the country have followed suit.

The nonprofit Zonta Club of the Adirondacks has been encouraged by this momentum, and recently held a "Mardi Bra" fundraiser at Desperados Restaurant to celebrate Mardi Gras and to raise awareness of issues facing women.

Article Photos

Members of the Zonta Club of the Adirondacks pose at the Mardis Bra event at Desperados Restaurant in Lake Placid.
(Photo provided)

The group collected more than $250 in ticket sales, more than 50 boxes of feminine supplies, and more than 40 bras and 40 pairs of underwear. The toiletries were donated to Essex County food pantries, and the women's undergarments were donated to STOP Domestic Violence for distribution to their clients. Zonta Club of the Adirondacks will use the funds raised to continue their important service and advocacy work.

Mardi Bra has been an annual event at Desperados since 2015. This year's event sparked much community awareness and support. Even after the event, people continued to bring feminine supplies to the restaurant, hoping to support the project. A small donation, a few pairs of new underwear, or a box of women's toiletries can make a significant impact.

Survivors of domestic violence often struggle with the daunting decision to leave their living situations, often with little advance planning. Having access to basic necessities, such as clean undergarments and toiletries to get through the days ahead, makes it a bit easier to choose not to return to the violence. This, in turn, impacts not only survivors themselves, but also many others. Included among those impacted are the survivors' children, who may struggle with self-esteem and emotional issues due to the trauma of repeated exposure to violence, as well as those who are often called upon to assist, such as neighbors, friends, extended family, social workers, law enforcement, lawyers, court staff, and medical and mental health providers.

Last fall, Zonta Club of the Adirondacks, with the help of an additional generous donation from Kinney Drugs, supplied STOP Domestic Violence with 10 duffel bags filled with essential toiletries for displaced women and children. STOP Domestic Violence distributed many of these bags within weeks of receiving them.

Clearly, we can all do more to impact the outcome for these survivors. Every act, no matter how small, can have a big impact.



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